Earlier Wednesday, Trump also said Democratic 2020 hopefuls, specifically former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., will lead the U.S. into an “economic sinkhole” if elected. He also claimed America would have experienced a “Great Recession/Depression” if he had not been elected in 2016.President Trump late Wednesday tweeted a response to CNN’s Democratic debate and said none of the candidates would keep up what he sees as momentum in the country.“…It will soon be time to choose to keep and build upon that prosperity and success, or let it go. We are respected again all around the world. Keep it that way! I said I will never let you down, and I haven’t. We will only grow bigger, better and stronger TOGETHER!,” Trump said. “The people on the stage tonight, and last, were not those that will either Make America Great Again or Keep America Great!” Trump began in a series of tweets around midnight. “Our Country now is breaking records in almost every category, from Stock Market to Military to Unemployment. We have prosperity & success like never before..” the president continued. “The people I saw on stage last night, & you can add in Sleepy Joe, Harris, & the rest, will lead us into an economic sinkhole the likes of which we have never seen before. With me, only up!” Trump said before the second debate Wednesday night.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPAN ENERGIZED BIDEN PUNCHES BACK AGAINST HARRIS, OTHERS IN HEATED DEBATE
Bustos announced that Jacqueline Newman will replace Allison Jaslow, a combat veteran, who resigned earlier in the day. Jaslow and Bustos were close. Roll Call reported that Jaslow had worked on Bustos’ campaign and was once chief-of-staff in her House office.
Republicans seized on the turmoil. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced a new interim executive director and other top staff changes on Monday after reported criticism that the staff did not reflect the diversity of the Democratic Party.The Washington Examiner reported that Michael McAdams, spokesman for the GOP campaign arm, “Mutiny underway at Cheri Bustos’ DCCC. What a disaster for House Democrats.”GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe DCCC has been effective in fundraising this past year and announced in May that it raised .85 million in May—its largest haul ever for the month, according to reports.Bustos said in the statement that she is proud of her team but promised to do better.Bustos said in the statement that she is proud of her team but promised to do better.GET THE FOX NEWS APP
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”I’m not saying we forcibly send her anywhere,” Paul said in an interview last week with Breitbart News. “I’m willing to contribute to buy her a ticket to go visit Somalia. I think she can look and maybe learn a little bit about the disaster that is Somalia.”Omar was born in Somalia but spent much of her early life at a refugee camp in Kenya. The United States granted her asylum in 1995.
Paul had targeted Omar last week in an interview, following President Trump’s claims earlier this month that Omar and other members of the progressive “Squad” should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.”
Paul testified during a three-day trial this year that he feared for his life after Boucher, an anesthesiologist, slammed into him in their upscale neighborhood in late 2017.Rene Boucher, who had a home next door to the senator in Bowling Green, Kentucky, pleaded guilty last year to assaulting Paul. Paul also won a civil verdict against Boucher for more than 2,000 this past January.In an apparent dig, she retweeted Tom Arnold who wrote: “Imagine being Rand Paul’s next door neighbor and having to deal with @RandPaul lying cowardly circular whiney bullcrap about lawn clippings. No wonder he ripped his toupee off.”Paul said Somalia had “no capitalism” or “God-given (constitutional) rights.” As the Louisville Courier Journal reported, he said Omar “might come back and appreciate America more” after going back to Somalia.TRUMP THROWS ‘SQUAD’ FEUD BACK AT PELOSI AFTER ‘RACIST’ ACCUSATIONThen, on Monday, Omar apparently took a swipe back.
He also defended the private option in the Harris proposal, saying, “it puts in place strict requirements for any private insurance company who wants to offer a Medicare plan, including on cost, quality access and services.”Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield, noting that Harris was one of the first senators in 2017 to co-sponsor Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” bill, charged on Monday that the Harris plan would result in “a Bernie Sanders-lite Medicare for All and a refusal to be straight with the American middle class, who would have a large tax increase forced on them with this plan.”And, former Vice President Joe Biden’s team called the Harris plan a “have-it-every-which-way approach” that “both backtracks on her long-promised – but then-hedged – support of Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All legislation.”The campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont slammed the Harris proposal, saying, “call it anything you want, but you can’t call this plan Medicare for All.”Biden’s lead over his rivals deteriorated following what was seen as a less-than-stellar debate performance.DETROIT, MI – Hours after White House candidate Sen. Kamala Harris unveiled her plan to push the country towards a government-backed “Medicare-for-all” health care system over the next decade, the California Democrat faced incoming fire from two of her top rivals for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination.Her campaign spotlighted that the Harris plan would allow private insurers to offer Medicare plans. The system – implemented over ten years – would build on the popular Medicare Advantage system while allowing Americans to choose between the government-run public plan and government-backed certified private Medicare plans to reach universal coverage.Sanders is slated to appear in Tuesday night’s debate, standing center-stage with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and eight other rivals.Late last week, Biden again singled out Sanders for being honest about the ramifications of implementing the single-payer health care plan, but he once again questioned Harris’ truthfulness.HARRIS UNVEILS HER ‘MEDICARE-FOR-ALL’ PLAN ON EVE OF DEBATESA few hours later, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir teed off on the Harris proposal, accusing the first-term senator and former California attorney general of “folding” to the health insurance industry.Harris campaign spokesman Ian Sams returned fire, arguing the criticism from the Sanders campaign was “so factually inaccurate I don’t even know where to begin.”Harris and Biden are to be standing side-by-side center-stage on Wednesday night, during the second of the two debates.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPHarris – in announcing her plan Monday morning – emphasized that unlike Sanders’ single-payer proposal, hers would not completely eliminate the private insurance currently used by hundreds of millions of Americans. However, two new national polls from Fox News and Quinnipiac University indicated the former vice president retained a large lead over his 2020 primary rivals.“This plan is centered around privatizing Medicare, enriching insurance executives and introducing more corporate greed and profiteering into the Medicare system. Further, we can’t wait 10 years to fix a dysfunctional health care system,” Shakir charged.“One idea put forward by Senator Sanders, for example, is increasing taxes for families making as little as ,000 a year,” her campaign spotlighted as they released their candidate’s plan. “She believes that hits the middle class too hard, so she would not raise taxes on families making under 0,000 to help pay for this plan,” her campaign highlighted.“I find that people will say they’re for ‘Medicare-for-all’ but they’re not going to tax the middle class because we don’t need to do that. Come on. My point is, this is a fantasy world here,” Biden emphasized.The former vice president, the front-runner among 2020 Democrats and the only top-tier contender who has not supported a single-payer “Medicare-for-all” system, repeatedly has taken jabs this month at Harris over a lack of straightforwardness on how she’d pay for her plan.Harris has seen her poll numbers rise since the first round of debates, when she went on the attack against Biden, as she criticized recent comments by the former vice president spotlighting his ability to find common ground during the 1970s with segregationist senators with whom he disagreed, and over his opposition decades ago to federally mandated school busing.The Harris rollout and the pushback from the Sanders and Biden campaigns came on the eve of the second round of primary debates featuring the Democrats.THE LATEST FOX NEWS 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY POLLThe Harris campaign also highlighted that unlike Sanders’ plan, hers would not raise taxes on the middle class to pay for her “Medicare-for-all” system.The Harris plan appeared to stake a middle ground between Sanders’ “Medicare-for-all” proposal and the public option to enhance ObamaCare that Biden has proposed.Health care has been a top issue with Democratic primary voters while “Medicare-for-all” has been very popular with the progressive base of the party. Public opinion polling has indicated that a majority of Americans would support such a plan if it allowed them to choose between a government-run public plan and certified private options.THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
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A security guard in charge of protecting Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was working only his third day and sent his fellow colleague to the wrong building to check on the alert when the fire first broke out, according to a new report.
The April 15 blaze sparked worldwide shock as people watched history burn while firefighters struggled to contain the fire.
Prosecutors investigating the cause of the blaze said last month there is no evidence thus far to suggest the fire was a criminal act. Instead, the Paris prosecutor’s office said in a statement Wednesday several hypotheses into the cause of the April 15 blaze include a malfunctioning electrical system or a smoldering cigarette.
But while the cause of the blaze remains unclear, the events in the early stages of the fire suggest some of the damage could have been contained had the novice guard went to the right building.
A major miscommunication occurred amid the early warnings of the blaze as one of the guards went to check the fire-free sacristy, not the attic of the Cathedral, a move that delayed the response to the fire, the New York Times reported in a lengthy investigation.
Only 30 minutes later, the cathedral staff realized they made a mistake and sent the guard to the attic – also known as “the forest” for its aged timber beams that hold up the roof – only to find that the fire was already in full swing.
The report found that the person who notified the location of the fire to the guard was working there only his third day and that he just started getting used to the alert system.
The system itself was complex and dated, prompting questions whether the person in charge of it even understood the alert in general.
The massive blaze ripped through the medieval cathedral, destroying the spire which toppled into the flames. It has left the crippled monument, once a major tourist attraction, barricaded to the public, and the skyline of Paris noticeably altered.
French President Emmanuel Macron set a target of five years – which will be when France is set to host the 2024 Summer Olympics – for the completion of Notre Dame restoration efforts.
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President Trump met with dozens of victims of religious persecution at the White House on Wednesday as part of an ongoing effort by the administration to push for religious freedom abroad.
Twenty-seven people, including Christians from Burma, Vietnam, North Korea, Iran, Turkey, Cuba, Eritrea, Nigeria, and Sudan, Muslims from Afghanistan, Sudan, Pakistan and New Zealand, Jewish persecution victims from Yemen and Germany, a practitioner of Cao Dai from Vietnam and a Yazidi from Iraq all joined the president in the Oval Office as part of a four-day conference, called the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.
Four of the participants were from China, and one, a Uighur Muslim victim, claimed the government has locked devotees in concentration camps.
U.N. Human Rights Council experts estimated at least 1 million Uighurs have been held in detention centers within China, and at least two dozen countries have urged China to cease the religious persecution of the group that has over 11 million worshippers in the country, as Reuters reported.
The U.S., which already has a tenuous relationship with China over accusations of intellectual property theft, has touted the idea of sanctioning Chen Quanguo, the Communist Party chief of Xinjiang, along with other Chinese officials over the persecution of the Uighurs.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence are expected to address efforts to advance international religious freedom, a top foreign policy agenda for Trump, at the final event of the conference on Thursday.
U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback said “additional measures” to tackle persecution would be announced at the State Department meeting Thursday.
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Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and other Democrats united in condemning President Trump on Wednesday night after the crowd at a North Carolina “Make America Great Again” rally broke out in a striking chant of “send her back” while the president criticized Omar and other members of the so-called progressive Democrat “squad.”
The three words referred to Trump’s tweet on Sunday in which the president said unnamed “Democrat Congresswomen” should go back and fix the “corrupt” and “crime infested places” from which they came and then “come back and show us how it’s done.”
The president later all but affirmed he was referring to Omar, as well as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley — all of whom, except Omar, were born in the United States. After a historic floor fight, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives formally condemned Trump’s comments as “racist” on Tuesday.
“Let ’em leave … they’re always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do that. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell ’em to leave it,” Trump said at the rally, doubling down on his earlier comments.
In response on Wednesday evening, Omar quoted civil rights activist and poet Maya Angelou on Twitter: “You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.”
She also retweeted a post from California Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat, calling out the “racist chant” and urging people to “vote, donate & organize like never before” to save “the soul of our country.”
Omar also retweeted Minnesota State Sen. Matt Klein’s message of support.
“Congresswoman Omar is staying here,” Klein wrote. “I welcome your opinions on her policies. But if you think you are more American than her, you don’t know what America is, and it is you that should leave.”
In his wide-ranging rally Wednesday, Trump went point-by-point, member-by-member, as he unloaded on the squad. Trump specifically slammed Omar saying she “smeared U.S. service members in ‘Black Hawk Down.’ She slandered the brave Americans trying to keep peace in Somalia” — a dig at her Somali-American heritage.
Trump also said Omar blamed America for the economic crisis in Venezuela and refused to condemn Al Qaeda.
Trump then moved on to his critique of Tlaib, saying she “used the F-word to describe the presidency and your president.”
“That’s not nice, even for me,” Trump said. “That’s not somebody who loves our country.”
The president then took aim at Ocasio-Cortez, whom he mocked for her “three different names” as well as saying she inaccurately described the migrant holding facilities at the southern border as concentration camps.
Of Pressley, Trump said the Massachusetts congresswoman “thinks that people with the same skin color all need to think the same. She said, ‘we don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be brown voices, we don’t need black faces that don’t want to be a black voice,'” a reference to remarks Pressley gave at a conference this past weekend. “Can you imagine if I said that?”
At the top of his remarks Wednesday night, Trump celebrated the House’s decision to shelve impeachment proceedings against him.
“I just heard that the United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to kill the most ridiculous project I ever worked on,” Trump said, referring to an impeachment resolution proposed by Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, that was widely opposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other top Democrats.
“The resolution — How stupid is that? — on impeachment.”
Trump called the 332-95 vote to sideline the impeachment resolution Wednesday “totally lopsided” and a “slaughter,” and instead touted the strong economy and low unemployment numbers under his administration.
“And they want to try and impeach,” he said. “It’s a disgrace.”
Fox New’s Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.
Newt Gingrich said Thursday that the public feud between freshman congresswomen and Nancy Pelosi is a result of “bitter differences” between the two and that the House Speaker needs to realize she’s “the grandmother” in the conflict.
Tensions have reached a boiling point between Pelosi and newcomer Democrats in the House such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The New York congresswoman has made clear that she believes Pelosi is “singling out” progressive women of color like herself, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., after Pelosi reportedly told Democrats to approach her personally about issues instead of airing out disagreements on Twitter.
During a Thursday morning appearance on “America’s Newsroom,” the former Speaker of the House said that Ocasio-Cortez’s argument is a “classic comment by the hard left.”
“Everything becomes either an attack on women, but since Pelosi is a woman, it has to be women of color,” Gingrich said. “The key thing here is very simple. We have now seen a group of genuine radicals who are way outside any reasonable position, and their public spokesperson is AOC.
“They have a deep bitter difference with Nancy Pelosi, who is an old-time liberal, representing an establishment, which these people, several of these people beat Democratic incumbents, so they come in as the opponents of the very things that Nancy Pelosi stands for,” he continued.
Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter on Tuesday to address the conflict, slamming “sexist” Republicans who have dubbed their disagreement a “catfight.”
“The reason [Republicans] find it so novel &exciting is bc the GOP haven’t elected enough women themselves to see that it can, in fact, be a normal occurrence in a functioning democracy [sic],” she wrote.
Gingrich added that he respects Pelosi and acknowledged that she is in a “hard place” balancing her own viewpoints with those of an increasingly progressive House. He also argued that the Speaker should recognize the part that a generational gap plays in the disagreement.
“Nancy Pelosi has to recognize — and I recognize my own age — that she is the grandmother,” he said. “She is yelling at these young members, and they are here thinking you are two generations older than me. Why am I supposed to listen to you?” he continued.
Those resisting Pelosi are still a relatively small number in the wider context of House members, but Gingrich said that the Speaker will have a “much bigger problem” if that number begins to grow.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to the reporting of this story.
The Supreme Court is gearing up to decide next term whether states can ban students from using student-aid programs to attend religious institutions – an education dispute that could have major ramifications for the school choice movement.
The justices announced at the end of last month’s session that they will take up the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue — which concerns whether states can ban student-aid programs that allow families to choose religious schools for their children. In December 2018, the Montana Supreme Court struck down a tax-credit scholarship program in the state, saying the program violated the state constitution’s “No-Aid clause” barring government money for religious schools because it had allowed students to use the money for that purpose.
“Every parent should have the right to choose where they send their kids to school,” Kendra Espinoza, one of the plaintiffs challenging the Montana decision, told Fox News.
Others see the case as an assault on the separation of church and state.
“The decision by the court to review the Montana case signals that the majority may be gunning for the strong provisions in most state constitutions that bar public school funds from going to religion or religious schools,” the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a liberal advocacy group, said in a June 28 statement.
Government money going to religious schools doesn’t necessarily violate the First Amendment, but appeals courts are split on whether excluding such schools from programs like Montana’s violates religious freedom.
The tax-credit scholarship program, passed in May 2015, gave Montanans up to a $150 credit for donating to private scholarship organizations, which helped students pay for their choice of private schools.
It’s similar to many programs across the U.S., and other states have proposed tax-credit scholarship programs but not passed them due to confusion about their legality.
FFRF attorney Patrick Elliott says the Supreme Court should leave decisions on these programs to state courts.
“I think this case involves interference with state rights,” he told Fox News. “States can adopt constitutional protections without federal interference.”
Espinoza said she enrolled her daughters in a private Christian school because she wanted a values-based education that would challenge them academically, but she has trouble paying for tuition and relies on scholarships. She planned to use Montana’s tax-credit scholarship program.
“I’ve been working two and three jobs just to make ends meet,” she said. “There was a question of whether I could afford it.”
But the Montana Department of Revenue said providing tax credits for donations that later help pay tuition at private schools amounts to indirect funding of religious education by the state, in violation of the “No-Aid clause” – also known as a Blaine Amendment. It made a rule preventing Espinoza or other religious school families from receiving the scholarships.
Espinoza and the libertarian Institute for Justice sued the department over that rule in December 2015, but the Montana Supreme Court invalidated the entire program last year. Espinoza’s lawyers say the program was voided simply because it afforded a religious option, and the U.S. Supreme Court should restore what the Montana legislature passed.
“The federal Constitution prohibits that kind of animus toward religion and the fact that animus is codified in the Montana Constitution in the Blaine Amendment only makes things that much worse,” Institute for Justice senior attorney Michael Bindas said.
Blaine Amendments originated in the 1870s when, as Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a 2000 case, “it was an open secret that ‘sectarian’ was code for ‘Catholic.’” Thirty-seven states have Blaine Amendments today, but Bindas calls them, “vestiges of 19th century anti-Catholic bigotry.”
Espinoza’s lawyers also cite Trinity Lutheran, a Supreme Court case from 2017 that ruled Missouri couldn’t deny a church a grant to resurface its playground simply because it was a church.
But Elliott said Blaine Amendments don’t mention a specific religion and have operated without bias.
“No funding of religious education was something states decided early on because they didn’t want to have a religiously segregated school system,” he said. “Public schools are open regardless of religious background. That’s not always the case with private schools.”
If the justices reverse Montana’s decision, it could open the door to more scholarship and voucher programs across the U.S.
“This case has the potential to remove Blaine Amendments as a barrier to school choice throughout the country,” Bindas said.
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A Florida fisherman delivered a full-throated endorsement of President Trump‘s environmental policies Monday at the White House, crediting the administration’s efforts with helping turn his business around.
Bruce Hrobak, the owner of Billy Bones Bait and Tackle in Port St. Lucie, Florida, joined “Fox & Friends” Tuesday to explain how the administration helped combat the “red tide” of toxic algae that was devastating his business.
“The president loves everybody and I just don’t get why people give him a hard time. He’s a great guy and I was proud and honored to meet him,” said Hrobak, who shouted “Trump 2020” into the microphone at the end of his show-stealing appearance.
Hrobak made the president and the audience laugh a few times, joking that his wife isn’t “yelling at him as much” and that his father looked a little bit like Trump.
Hrobak said his business suffered in recent years because people were scared away by the toxic algae, which has now subsided near his bait shop. He also touted the administration’s efforts to speed up repairs on the Herbert Hoover Dike.
“He wouldn’t allow all this money to go improving things if he didn’t care. That’s my personal opinion,” he said.
In a White House speech that exhaustively documented his administration’s environmental efforts, Trump issued a new denunciation of the Green New Deal championed by top Democrats including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying the proposal would devastate the economy and hit minorities the hardest.
The address was aimed at publicizing the often under-reported work by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as firing a political shot across the bow of Democrats who largely have dominated the conversation on climate change and related issues.
It came as polls have shown Americans increasingly voicing concern over the environment.
“We have only one America. We have only one planet,” Trump said at one point. But, “while we’re focused on practical solutions, more than 100 Democrats in Congress now support the so-called Green New Deal. Their plan is estimated to cost our economy nearly $100 trillion — a number unthinkable, a number not affordable even in the best of times.”
Democrats, however, dismissed the president’s environmental record, with presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee slamming Trump’s rollback of Obama-era regulations.
“President Trump’s record on the environment is pathetic and an embarrassment to the world,” Sanders, I-Vt., wrote. “This is a man who still thinks climate change is a ‘hoax.’ He better start listening to scientists and not his friends in the fossil fuel, chemical, and big agribusiness industries.”
Inslee, who has made climate change the central issue for his campaign, tweeted throughout the event.
“As Trump touts his administration’s environmental ‘accomplishments,’ a reminder that the EPA is run by a coal lobbyist, Interior is run by an oil lobbyist and Energy is run by someone who wanted to abolish the department,” he tweeted.
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.